Introduction: Timothy Loraditch

(Timothy Loraditch) #1

Hi everyone, I am Timothy from New Hampshire USA. I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 7 watching Billy Graham on television. Now at the age of 55, I can’t remember a day that I didn’t know Jesus loved me. None of that makes me better at being a Christian, just thankful and forgiven. I thank God every day that He did not leave me to my own devices, but leads me in His paths of righteousness.

My wife and I have five grown children, one adorable grandson, and another on the way. I am an artist (landscape painter) and historian (American History) by education. I look forward to learning more about what God has for us as we discuss and discover the great treasure we have in Jesus.

(SeanO) #2

@tfloraditch Welcome to Connect! I’m always amazed to hear stories of those saved through Graham’s ministry - one of my siblings was saved that way as well. What an impact! What era of art do you appreciate the most? I really like Albert Bierstadt’s realistic landscapes.

May you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus through your time here on the forms and may Christ strengthen / guide / protect your family.

(Timothy Loraditch) #3

@SeanO Bierstadt was an amazing artist. You chose well.

It is really hard to say what era I appreciate the most. I typically move from era to era as I read and study other artists. Just recently completing the MA in American history I focused on American art of the second half of the 20th century. Not because it was so good, but because of how I saw American art lose its connection from American culture. History is controlled by your perspective. Studying American art as American history taught me much that six years of art history left out. The topic has caused me to rethink much of what I once thought.

(SeanO) #4

@tfloraditch That is interesting - I don’t know much about how art history reflects the state of the culture. Would you say that art lags behind cultural shift by a little bit or is it ahead of cultural shift? So, did we get ‘modern art’ that has no definite shape before relativism became big or did relativism in culture precede relativism in the art world?

(Timothy Loraditch) #5

@SeanO I would say that American art divorced American culture. Prior to WW2 artists were always closely linked to culture. Grant Wood’s American Gothic was a poignant commentary on American culture that still resonates with Americans and is continually recreated in an effort to document the continuous American cultural changes.

The Works Progress Administration/Federal Arts Projects created during the Great Depression, gave artists money to create art with no strings attached. They could do anything they wanted and the money would continue. Their work did not have to be good or appreciated by anyone, and at least in New York State, no control over the arts was ever exercised. This created an artistic relationship that had never existed before. Even Michelangelo and Da Vinci had patrons that had to like what they did or the money would be cut off.

When the WPA/FAP ended much of what was created ended up in second-hand shops and sold off for pennies. The artists continued to create Abstract Expressionism and when the critics rejected it the artists rejected anyone who did not understand their work. It was like a messy divorce.

So to answer your question, I don’t see American art as ahead or behind just separate and elitist. American art has lost its voice with most American’s who like yourself prefer realism or at least something they can connect with visually.

FYI: I am not an anti-Abstract Expressionist. I like much of the work these artists did, but that is looking back. In 1960 few Americans liked it. If after 50 years, something becomes acceptable to cultural tastes that does not mean it was ahead of its time. Perhaps we just got used to it.

(SeanO) #6

@tfloraditch Thank you for the thorough analysis. That is very interesting stuff! I didn’t realize that there was that kind of a split between the culture and the art community historically.

(Kathleen) #7

Welcome to Connect, @tfloraditch! And thank you already to you and @SeanO for this fascinating discussion. I’m not an art historian, per se, but I do love a bit of history! (Seriously, you should see my bookshelves. :books:) Looking forward to interacting with you out on the forum!

(Timothy Loraditch) #8

@SeanO Please keep in mind that this is the result of my own research and the conclusions I have come to. There may be many art historians who do not share my perspective.

(SeanO) #9

@tfloraditch Yes - understood. That is the nature of history - it is so complex. Not unlike economics. There are many factors and some of them may not even be known. And yet there is still great value in trying to understand / model what happened and learn from it.